Jan. 21, 2011

Today’s issue is brought to you by AIS's Specialty Pharmacy News, a monthly newsletter designed to help health plans, PBMs, providers and employers contain costs and improve outcomes related to high-cost specialty products.

Today's Featured Story

Almost Half of Surveyed Health Plans Will Follow FDA’s Lead on Avastin  
Reprinted from Specialty Pharmacy News

Following the FDA’s recommendation to revoke the breast cancer indication for Avastin (bevacizumab) — even though the decision has not been finalized — Debbie Stern, vice president of managed care consulting firm Rxperts, Inc., tells AIS that her company surveyed 12 managed care organizations and asked the following question: “Do you anticipate any changes to your coverage policy for Avastin now that the FDA has begun the process to rescind the approval in metastatic breast cancer?” .... Read Full Story


Quote of the Day

CVS Caremark’s deal to purchase the Part D business of Universal American Corp. for $1.25 billion “is clearly a large strategic acquisition. It’s a bet on the longevity of Part D. It’s a bet on economies of scale. It’s a bet on the stronger presence of pharmacy networks in Part D.”

— Dan Mendelson, president of the consulting firm of Avalere Health LLC, told AIS’s Drug Benefit News

Click here to read the DRUG BENEFIT NEWS article in which this quote appeared. (Free for DBN subscribers; $17 for non-subscribers).


Today's Datapoint

4% …was the growth in health care spending in the U.S. during 2009 (for a total of $2.5 trillion), down from 4.7% in 2008, according to a new report by CMS’s Office of the Actuary.



People on the Move

Cetero Research, an early-stage contract research organization, appointed Roger Hayes president of bioanalytical operations. Hayes was director of bioanalytical at Schering-Plough Research Institute....First DataBank, a developer of drug databases, named Karl Matuszewski, PharmD., vice president of clinical and editorial knowledge base services. Matuszewski was vice president and editor-in-chief at Gold Standard/Elsevier.


Today's Featured Health Business Job Opening

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Burlington, Vt.

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